Some find inspiration in the wilderness. Others find themselves hopelessly lost.

Monthly Archives: May 2014

Time for a break.

Between writing projects, an upcoming move, and a whole bunch of planned travel, I’m finding less and less time to write blog posts.

It’s been such fun connecting with so many readers through this blog.  Stay in touch!

I’ll do my best to get another book out for you all soon.



The #WritingProcess Blog Tour is connecting authors all over the world so they can share thoughts on the writing life. Each Monday a writer answers some questions about his/her process, then they tap two or three other authors to keep the conversation going.

Generally, I avoid pyramid schemes, but, as far as I can tell, as in the case of most things writing related, no one’s making any money off anyone else here. I promise, after reading this blog post, you won’t feel obligated to buy any cosmetics or kitchen devices.

The talented Kelly Ann Jacobson invited me to join in the #MyWritingProcess conversation. She’s the author of the wonderful, evocative novel Cairo in White, which I just recently read and highly recommend, as well as Dreamweaver Road and Answers I’ll Accept. You can read about Kelly, her books, and her writing process at

If you’d like to learn about my writing process, read on.


No, I don’t use a typewriter, but I probably would if I had one like this and I’m seriously contemplating taking a hiatus from my laptop in favor of pen and paper, at least for a little while.

1)      What are you working on?

My writing seems to be shifting to a younger and younger audience. Drowning Cactus was about twenty-somethings, and could be classified as “New Adult” contemporary fiction.  I’m now working on a young adult novel about a girl whose story will change the future, if she dares tell it. It deals with environmental issues and the power of fiction. Think Never-Ending Story meets Silent Spring.

Recently, at my children’s request, I’ve also started writing picture book manuscripts. I’m not yet certain whether those will leave my living room, but I’m having a blast writing them. Children’s books are likely poetry. Every word counts and there’s a lot of space to enjoy the sounds and rhythms of language.

2)      How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I suppose I have more of an environmentalist outlook than many writers, although that’s hardly unique. Also, no matter what I’m writing, no matter how dire the subject, I find that humor always creeps in. That’s my personality, I suppose, and though I write from different perspectives, I can’t (or don’t try to) entirely eliminate my world view.

3)      Why do you write what you do?

The great mystery. Stories and characters spring up unbidden. I prefer to leave that process un-dissected.

5)      How does your writing process work?

Just about every day, I find some time to write. When I’m writing a first draft, the words tend to flow and my fingers do their best to keep pace. Between writing time I jot phrases and ideas on bits of paper. By the next day, those thoughts are usually irrelevant (and often I lose the scraps of paper) but I think it helps me stay engaged with the story.

After I finish a draft, I usually need a reader right away to give me some feedback. (Is this any good at all?!) Most of the time, I make my husband read it. He’s surprisingly frank with me and I’m grateful to him for that. Then, I get down to editing. I go through many rounds of edits, often chopping out huge sections, and then a few more rounds of language polishing before anyone else sees the manuscript.

Sending a manuscript out into the world—the business side of this—that’s a whole other process, though, and not nearly as pleasant. Perhaps a subject for a different blog day and a different blog hop.

Next week, authors Shannon LC Cate and Marisa Tejada will share their insights into the writing life and answer the same questions.

Look out for Shannon’s entry at :

Marisa Tejada’s post will be available at :


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